The Leinster Under-18 (Clubs) team, sponsored by Nivea for Men, fell to a 15-13 defeat against Connacht in Donnybrook on Saturday afternoon, but sealed the interprovincial title…

Connacht, who had won three of the previous five interprovincial titles, got off to a flying start and were rewarded for their early pressure through wing forward Paul Hackett after 15 minutes though Ross Keller’s conversion fell wide of the mark.

Leinster regrouped and eight minutes later reduced the deficit from the boot of Co. Carlow’s Thomas Daly. Daly added his second on 25 minutes to give the hosts a slender 6-5 half-time lead.

The westerners began the second half with real great enthusiasm and winger Conor Fitzgibbon’s break in the 41st minute resulted in their second try, converted this time by full-back Keller who increased his side’s tally with a penalty six minutes later.

Led by some outstanding forward play, with Navan’s impressive back-row Akhlaque Khan and inspirational skipper from Portlaoise Eoghan Masterson asking questions of their opposite numbers, eventually Leinster’s pressure told.

In the 62nd minute Aidan Sherlock touched down, converted by Co. Carlow centre Daly, to ensure a tense finale, but Connacht held on to seal the win.

Munster’s 16-10 victory over Ulster in Portadown means that Leinster have won the interprovincial title.

LEINSTER SCORERS: A. Sherlock (1 try), T. Daly (2 penalties, 1 conversion)

CONNACHT SCORERS: P. Hackett, C. Fitzgibbon (1 try each), R. Keller (1 penalty, 1 conversion)

LEINSTER (UNDER-18) CLUBS: 15: Eoin Stynes (Co. Carlow), 14: Kevin Burke (New Ross) / Daire Dalton (Navan) 54, 13: Kieran Butler (New Ross), 12: Thomas Daly (Co. Carlow), 11: Adam Byrne (Naas), 10: Liam Bourke (Navan) / David Fennell (Tullamore) 68, 9: Finnbar McGowan (Longford); 1: Peter Dooley (Birr), 2: Dewi Harrison (Barnhall), 3: Luke Sheridan (Greystones) / Josh O’Rourke (De la Salle Palmerston) 23, 4: Daragh Curran (Ashbourne), 5: Aidan Sherlock (Skerries), 6: Akhlaque Khan (Navan) / James McConnon (Dundalk), 7: Paul Maxwell (Mullingar) / Naoise Dunbar (Enniscorthy) 66, 8: Eoghan Masterson (Portlaoise) CAPTAIN

REPLACEMENTS NOT USED: Darragh Mink (Navan), Luke Peppard (Mullingar)